Here's What Health and Wellness Experts Bring to Eat on Airplanes

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By Beth Lipton

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“I can’t wait to eat on the plane!” said no one, ever. Airline food has never been the best, and nowadays it’s possible to spend a fortune buying on-board fare that’s… let’s just say less than optimal. While some airports do have decent food options, if you’re traveling at an odd hour or don’t have tons of time, it can still be difficult to seek out the best healthy choices. So what’s a health-conscious traveler to do? The answer: Plan and pack ahead. We asked four health and wellness experts to share their secrets for keeping hunger at bay while up in the friendly skies.

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1. The doctor

“I always have some Miso Tahini Dip in the refrigerator. For travel, I use less water to make a thicker spread and put it on thin-sliced whole grain bread. I also may take carrot sticks along, as well as some raw nuts and dark chocolate.” —Andrew Weil, MD, drweil.com

Bonus: Here’s the recipe for Dr. Weil’s Miso-Tahini Dip from his new cookbook Fast Food Good Food ($20; amazon.com).

You’ll need: ½ cup raw sesame tahini, 1 ½ Tbsp. red miso, ¼ cup water, 2 cloves of pressed garlic (allow it to sit for 10 minutes)

Directions: Mix tahini and miso in a bowl until well combined. Add water gradually, stirring. The mixture will first thicken and then turn smooth and creamy. Add just enough water to get the consistency you want for the dip. Add the pressed garlic and mix well. Serve with vegetable crudités like carrot and celery sticks, cucumber spears, or red and orange bell pepper slices. Yields ¾ cup of dip.

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2. The nutritionist

“Sometimes I take bars. My favorite are Amrita Chocolate Maca Energy Bars ($40 for 12; amazon.com). Or I’ll take snacks that kind of make a meal, like raw veggies (usually sliced red bell pepper, cucumber, and grape tomatoes), roasted chickpeas, nuts, and fresh fruit.” Health‘s contributing nutrition editor Cynthia Sass, RD, MPH, cynthiasass.com

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3. The natural medicine guru

“My favorite snacks to take along are homemade spicy kale chips, Epic Food Bars (made with grass-fed beef, $20 for six; amazon.com), Goji berries ($15; amazon.com), Lydia’s Organic Crackers (made with veggies, herbs, and seeds, $9.50 for a 5-oz. box; amazon.com). Sometimes I also make homemade protein bars.” —Josh Axe, DNM, draxe.com

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4. The fitness manager

“When I travel, I like to bring a pouch of tuna ($35 for 12 2.6-oz. pouches, amazon.com), some chopped fruit (usually green apples and/or strawberries), and peanuts.” —Mary Onyango, group fitness manager, Equinox Brooklyn Heights

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5. The food editor

Just for good measure, here’s what I take along: I cut up whatever raw vegetables I have in the fridge (usually carrots, celery, cucumber, and radishes, sometimes fennel) and put them in a container. I drizzle them with MCT Oil ($35; amazon.com) or extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with pink Himalayan salt ($10; amazon.com). Depending on how long the flight is, I may also bring a couple of hard-boiled eggs, a piece of in-season fruit, and a bar. My favorite bars are Bulletproof Vanilla Max Collagen Bars ($35 for 12; bulletproof.com) and Health Warrior Chia Bars ($22 for 15, amazon.com).

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